A NUMBER of schoolchildren expecting to go to a top New Cross school have been turned away after a Lewisham Council botch-up.

The council blamed an "administrative error" for the blunder where "a small number" of families were wrongly offered places at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College while others missed out.

The mistake was made over the distance from parents’ homes to the school and the council have had to withdraw some places and offer them to the "correct" families.

The specialist music and ICT College for nursery to sixth form students claims to be one of the most oversubscribed schools in the country with 12 pupils vying for each place.

A Lewisham Council spokeswoman said: "This is a very unfortunate error and the council has apologised to those parents concerned. "We are very sorry for the mistake and systems have been reviewed to ensure such an error is not repeated."

She added that parents with incorrect offers would now be given places for the schools they would have originally had.